Teaching Intelligent Design and burning crosses

| 102 Comments | 3 TrackBacks

The Columbus Dispatch reports that a much awaited report on the activities of John Freshwater, a Mount Vernon teacher, has finally been released.

The conclusions are straightforward and shocking

A Mount Vernon teacher undermined science instruction in the public school district by discrediting evolution in his classroom and focusing on creationism and intelligent design, a probe has found.

Worse, the teacher “burned crosses onto students’ arms, using an electrostatic device, in December. Freshwater told investigators the marks were Xs, not crosses. But all of the students interviewed in the investigation reported being branded with crosses.”

While his defenders argued that the teacher merely used the device to draw ‘X’, the picture shows otherwise.

MTVERNON.jpg

To me this clearly looks like a cross, not an ‘X’.

In other news, the family of one of the students who was burned filed a federal lawsuit last week against the teacher Freshwater and the school district.

Freshwater’s friend, Dave Daubenmire, defended him.

“With the exception of the cross-burning episode … I believe John Freshwater is teaching the values of the parents in the Mount Vernon school district,’’ he said.

Even if that were correct, that is no excuse for violating the constitution and branding crosses in children’s arms. Not to mention the other violations of a teacher’s responsibilities towards his students.

It is shocking to me as a Christian and a scientists that this teacher violated not just the Constitution but also how the school seemed to have turned a blind eye towards the problem and how both the school and the teacher have violated their oath and duty towards their students.

What shocks me further is how his defenders attempted to trivialize the actions by Freshwater. Until now, I had assumed that there existed valid explanations for his actions however the report makes it very clear that none exist.

The final conclusions of the report:

There is a significant amount of evidence that Mr. Freshwaters’ teachings regarding subjects related to evolution were not consistent with the curriculum of the Mount Vernon City Schools and State standards. Contrary to Mr. Freshwater’s statement, the evidence indicates he has been teaching creationism and intelligent design and has been teaching the unreliability of carbon dating in support of opposition to evolution. He has passed out materials to students for the past several years challenging evolution and then collecting the materials back from the students. He has done so in spite of specific directives not to teach creationism or intelligent design. He has taught students to use the code word “Here” to challenge scientific process that is considered settled by the high school science teachers.

That by itself is sufficiently troubling however this is not where his actions ended

In addition, there is evidence that Mr. Freshwater inappropriately said to his class that science is wrong because the Bible states that homosexuality is a sin and so anyone who is gay chooses to be gay and therefore is a sinner.

And finally, Freshwater used an electrostatic device improperly to brand a cross in the arms of his students

Mr. Freshwater did improperly use an electrostatic device on the student who filed the complaint and other students in his science class in a manner that was not in compliance with the manufacturer’s instructions. While there did not appear to be any intent by Mr.Freshwater to cause injury to any student, he was not using the device for its intended purpose. Contrary to Mr. Freshwater’s statement he simply made an “X” not a “cross,” all of the students described the marking as a “cross” and the pictures provided depict a “cross”.

Indeed, it surely does not look like an X to me either. And yet his defenders took him at his word that it was an X and not a cross, a statement belied by the children and the photographs.

Mr. Freshwater was insubordinate in failing to remove all of the religious materials from his classroom as ordered by his superior, Principal White.

  • Mr. Freshwater did burn a cross onto the complaining family’s child’s arm using an electrostatic device not designed for that purpose
  • The Ten Commandments together with other posters of a religious nature were posted in Mr. Freshwater’s classroom. Most were removed after Mr. White’s letter of April 14, 2008, but at least one poster remained which Mr. Freshwater was again instructed to remove on April 16, 2008, but did not do so.
  • Several Bibles were kept in Mr. Freshwater’s classroom including his personal Bible on his desk and one he checked out of the library placed on the lab table near the desk. Other Bibles that had been maintained in the room were removed by the time the investigators viewed Mr. Freshwater’s room.
  • Mr. Freshwater engaged in teaching of a religious nature, teaching creationism and related theories and calling evolution into question. He had other materials in his classroom that could be used for that purpose.
  • Mr. Freshwater engaged in prayer during FCA meetings in violation of the District’s legal obligations for monitoring such organizations.
  • Mr. Freshwater participated and possibly lead a prayer during an FCA meeting that concerned a guest speaker’s health. There is no conclusion as to whether such prayer was a “healing” prayer.
  • There is no evidence Mr. Freshwater violated the District’s permission slip policy.
  • There is no evidence Mr. Freshwater made statements about FCA members “being the saved ones” nor was there any corroboration to the allegation Mr. Freshwater gave FCA members Bibles for them to distribute. He did have two boxes of Bibles in the back of his room.
  • Mr. Freshwater gave an extra credit assignment for students to view the movie “Expelled” which does involve intelligent design.

3 TrackBacks

The science-blogosphere has been following the story of John Freshwater, a Mount Vernon public school teacher, for some time. The man is clearly off his rocker. He burned a cross into the arms of one his students. In class. And in addition to a hos... Read More

A peek above our garters to Richard B. Hoppe, over at The Panda’s Thumb for this. Seems some psycho fundy named John Freshwater was “teaching” some interesting things in his public school classroom in Mt. Vernon, OH. Today, the scho... Read More

Americans have a long history of civil disobedience: when the law suppresses the immutable freedoms of society, we revolt in the name of all of our citizens. Unfortunately, fundamentalist Christians have a similar history, but geared towards a slight... Read More

102 Comments

This simple fact of burning anything in students’ arms, whether an X or a cross, is child abuse.

This man needs to go to prison for the rest of his life.

Interesting perspective. Even if the student gave permission to do so? Does a student have the ability to understand and consent to this inappropriate use of the device? At the moment, the issue is in civil court, I wonder if criminal charges will be filed.

Warren said:

This simple fact of burning anything in students’ arms, whether an X or a cross, is child abuse.

This man needs to go to prison for the rest of his life.

“Permission” from a minor means nothing. And in what circumstances would such “permission” be given? An intolerant authoritarian, claiming authority both as a teacher and as a “Christian” bringing the Word of God, who consistently forces his beliefs on his students, no questions allowed, with the consent of the school administration, now hints that his students could show their “faith” by getting a permanent scar. And if you don’t take the “initiation,” you’re not “one of the faithful.” That’s not “permission,” it’s peer pressure manipulated by adults.

Very good points. I am playing the devil’s advocate to ensure that my logic and position are not unnecessarily biased by my beliefs. Yes, I tend to agree with you that teachers have an incredible power over their students and with it comes an incredible responsibility. Such a relationship can easily be manipulated for good or evil. Using such a position to indoctrinate children in issues of faith seems highly inappropriate. I wonder what the response would have been if instead the teacher were an atheist who had been telling his students that there is no God? Would Freshwater supporters still support the “right” of the teacher to do so? Or is this limited to teachers who support indoctrination in the most popular faith?

Raging Bee said:

“Permission” from a minor means nothing. And in what circumstances would such “permission” be given? An intolerant authoritarian, claiming authority both as a teacher and as a “Christian” bringing the Word of God, who consistently forces his beliefs on his students, no questions allowed, with the consent of the school administration, now hints that his students could show their “faith” by getting a permanent scar. And if you don’t take the “initiation,” you’re not “one of the faithful.” That’s not “permission,” it’s peer pressure manipulated by adults.

PvM said: I wonder what the response would have been if instead the teacher were an atheist who had been telling his students that there is no God?

My guess? He’d have been crucified.

In the article in the Columbus Dispatch listed in the OP, there are a number of documents related to the dispute listed under “Web Extras”. The first is a letter from William White, the principal of the school, that, among other things, says,

With regard to religious materials in your classroom, it has been brought to my attention that you have a bible out on your desk … While you certainly may read your bible on your own, duty free time [i.e. during lunch], it cannot be sitting out on your desk when students are in the classroom and when you are supposed to be engaged in your responsibilities as a teacher. … As a public school teacher, you cannot engage in any activity that promotes or denigrates a particular religion or religious beliefs while on board property, during any school activity or while you are “on duty” as a teacher. Unless a particular discussion about religion or religious decorations or symbols is part of a Board approved curriculum, you may not engage in religious discussions with students while at school or keep religious materials displayed in the classroom.

(I should note that the “…” refer to another issue that Mr. Freshwater complied with.)

Mr. Freshwater replies,

In addition, my superiors have ordered me to remove the Bible from the desk of my classroom. Because the Bible is personal, private property and the source of personal inner-strength in my own life the removal of it from my desk would be nothing short of infringement on my own deeply held, personal religious beliefs granted by God and guaranteed under the “free-exercise clause” of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The First Amendment reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; (emph. mine) or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

My question today is if Congress can make no law prohibiting the “free exercise” of my faith, from where does the Mt. Vernon City Schools obtain the power to restrict it?

Until the Mount Vernon City Schools can demonstrate to me how I can remove the Bible from my desk without sacrificing my own God-given right to free exercise of my faith, I cannot in good-conscience comply with their directive.

I do not forfeit my right to free expression of my faith when I walk into the school and because I strongly object to the “Christian censorship” being promoted in our schools I respectfully reject the request to remove the Bible.

It seems to me that, deliberately or not, Mr. Freshwater is misinterpreting the instructions by Mr. White. Mr. White said that the bible “cannot be sitting out on your desk when students are in the classroom”, not that it had to be removed entirely, and specifically said that Mr. Freshwater could read the bible on his own, off duty time such as lunch. But Mr. Freshwater cannot put pressure on the students by displaying a religious text on his desk. Doing so makes a statement, and I think that any non-Christian in the class would be made to feel unconfortable by it.

This is playing the victim card, as we have seen many trolls on PT do in the past.

IANAL

Yuck! Why would any teacher mess with a kid’s body like that! This guy may have a few screws loose. Was it temporary or permanent marking?

I think regardless of the creationism/separation of church and state issues, the “branding” (whether X or crosses is irrelevant) equals assault. This teacher should be fired at the very least.

Couple questions

Mr. Freshwater did improperly use an electrostatic device on the student who filed the complaint

was the complaint filed before or after the ritual scarring? I’m wondering if it was done to the student in response to the complaint, or if the student was fine with it until after it was done (possibly being the parents that freaked out on seeing it)

In addition, my superiors have ordered me to remove the Bible from the desk of my classroom. Because the Bible is personal, private property and the source of personal inner-strength in my own life the removal of it from my desk would be nothing short of infringement on my own deeply held, personal religious beliefs granted by God and guaranteed under the “free-exercise clause” of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

We realy need some remedial constitutional law classes. The first amendment grants us freedom of speach, but it does not compel newspapers or publishers to print anyones insane rantings. Nor does the freedom of religion compel employers to allow any action on the job especially when it interfeers with the job. Using his reasoning a Hindu hired by a fast food place would be legally allowed to give all the burgers a religious funeral.

It is not possible for an 8th grader to give valid consent for something like that any more than they could give valid consent to being tattooed or branded.

The fact that he still has his job is a refutation of the whole premise of Expelled.

In fact what we have here is protection of child abuse and dereliction of duty due to the perpetrator’s Christian religion.

Imagine if a Muslim had done this in a public school.

I know a teacher who is a lot like this Freshwater character, and I also know that these kinds of idiots cannot survive without support or acquiescence from the administration.

The person I know has been grotesquely incompetent as far as the subject matter of his courses are concerned (computer science and math), and he has been proselytizing from the first day he entered the classroom. He also has actively denigrated the religions of the Hindu, Muslim, and Catholic students in his class and this has been recorded and reported repeatedly by students.

During his first few years before receiving tenure, he was supervised by a master teacher who became totally frustrated with him and recommended strongly that this idiot not receive tenure. The director of the program dithered repeatedly and finally recommended this crackpot for tenure.

It has been 12 years since this idiot received tenure, and he hasn’t changed. He bribes students with A’s to give him good evaluations, and he punishes students with low grades if they complain about him. The teachers around him, the parents, and the students all know this is going on and they complain regularly; but nothing is ever done about it except an occasional reprimand and a brief referral to a master teacher.

There is clearly some kind of behind-the-scenes politics that keeps him in place.

chuck said: In fact what we have here is protection of child abuse and dereliction of duty due to the perpetrator’s Christian religion.

Imagine if a Muslim had done this in a public school.

And this is why separation of church and state must be applied at the classroom level. It’s amazing to me that so many people do not realize how biased they are when judging the actions of people that share their religion, even when those actions are abusive.

Another potential future martyr for the Discovery Institute?

While his defenders argued that the teacher merely used the device to draw ‘X’, the picture shows otherwise.

This really typifies the problem in general. Like the punch line of a joke I recall: “Who are you going to believe? Me, or your lying eyes?”

I also know that these kinds of idiots cannot survive without support or acquiescence from the administration.

And for the most part, the administration doesn’t want to cause problems with the community. After all, their paycheck comes from community funding, and their jobs are hostage to political boards and committees who tend to be ardent creationists also, selected (voted in by) a creationist community, and funded by tax programs advertised as supported by God.

Also, as we’ve seen in cases like Hovind and Judge Roy Moore, these people will spit righteously in the eye of any law they find to be godless. Freshwater’s flat “fuck you” refusal to follow the law OR the requests of his boss, are playing straight to the local community, where his support is doubtless solid and fanatical. Slogans like “forfeit my right to express my faith” and “censorship against Christians in the schools” aren’t anything but political cheerleading. Any action taken against him has been powerfully positioned as an attempt to attack and suppress the local faith, and persecute the devout.

While the schools are the best weapon in the war to reach sanity (and at best not nearly as powerful as parental indoctrination, Sunday school, and peer pressure), getting the creationists out of positions of influence and authority means being VERY unpopular while removing one brick for every 100 replaced in the wall between the locals and genuine knowledge. So Freshwater keeps his job, his bible stays on his desk, the case slowly filters through the courts, finally coming to ground with a decision demanding that Freshwater move his bible. Which he ignores, nobody arrests him, and the status quo continues.

As an irrelevant aside, let me mention – for those who haven’t seen it – that the co-writer of “Expelled,” Kevin Miller has a blog:

http://kevinwrites.typepad.com

In it you’ll see the same general approach to difficult questions that you might expect from a guy willing to put his name on the “Expelled” credits: questions he can’t evade, he expels.

When dealing with minors (anyone under the age of 18 years) consent is not granted nor received. Consent does not simply exists. If anything is the parents the ones called into give it. Branding or scarification done in the school by a teacher simply violate any moral or common sense. This teacher should be prosecuted for child abuse and endangerment.

Mike Elzinga said:

I know a teacher who is a lot like this Freshwater character, and I also know that these kinds of idiots cannot survive without support or acquiescence from the administration.

There is clearly some kind of behind-the-scenes politics that keeps him in place.

Here comes a fairly useless comment, but maybe someone can help me out here. I know there is some sort of government organization you can contact to help in situations like this, but I don’t remember who it is. I heard an epispode of This American Life once that broke my heart, and it was about a Muslim family and the unfortunate experiences they had well after 9/11 when the kids were forced to read books saying Muslims were bad people, and the whole school turned on the kids from the Muslim family. Through the government action, the teachers were given some minor educational slaps on the wrist. It didn’t solve everything, but it couldn’t hurt. The sooner you start demanding change, the sooner that teacher will stop harming the self esteem of those kids.

Mike Elzinga said:

I know a teacher who is a lot like this Freshwater character, and I also know that these kinds of idiots cannot survive without support or acquiescence from the administration.

There is clearly some kind of behind-the-scenes politics that keeps him in place.

I heard a story on This American Life once, where a Muslim family was able to get a fed. govt. agency involved to try and help stop religious discrimination coming from a teacher. Still wrist-slapping, but it’s worth a shot.

Mr. Freshwater did improperly use an electrostatic device on the student…

What “electrostatic device” would do this? That looks more like a burn from a hot wire or a small soldering iron or such, rather than anything one would get from a Wimhurst Machine or a Van de Graaf Generator. This part of the indictment might be thrown out if the “device” was not specifically “electrostatic” in nature.

Paul Burnett said:

Mr. Freshwater did improperly use an electrostatic device on the student…

What “electrostatic device” would do this? That looks more like a burn from a hot wire or a small soldering iron or such, rather than anything one would get from a Wimhurst Machine or a Van de Graaf Generator. This part of the indictment might be thrown out if the “device” was not specifically “electrostatic” in nature.

Oh it’s an electrostatic device all right. The report has the manufacturer and model: http://www.electrotechnicproduct.com/pinhole.asp

Tyrannosaurus said:

Branding or scarification done in the school by a teacher simply violates any moral or common sense.

I think this is the type of incident where people are slow to react simply because they are dumbfounded: “I must have heard this wrong. Tell me what happened again, please?”

And when told again the reaction is: “You did WHAT? WHY?!”

White Rabbit (Greg Goebel) http://www.vectorsite.net/tadarwin.html

chuck said:

Paul Burnett said:

Mr. Freshwater did improperly use an electrostatic device on the student…

What “electrostatic device” would do this? That looks more like a burn from a hot wire or a small soldering iron or such, rather than anything one would get from a Wimhurst Machine or a Van de Graaf Generator. This part of the indictment might be thrown out if the “device” was not specifically “electrostatic” in nature.

Oh it’s an electrostatic device all right. The report has the manufacturer and model: http://www.electrotechnicproduct.com/pinhole.asp

I used to have one of these gadgets in my lab. It’s a little like a Tesla coil. It generates high-voltage, high-frequency coronal discharge from its tip.

Imagine if a teacher burned in a picture of an upside down star with a ruminant of the genus Capra in it. I’m sure parents wouldn’t have any problems with this type of free expression. Surely not.

PvM said:

I wonder what the response would have been if instead the teacher were an atheist who had been telling his students that there is no God?

Actually there have been many test cases of this type floated already. Every time a teacher has sex with a student, the question of permission – consent – is always nullified, and the teacher is prosecuted as a sexual predator.

From a legal perspective I believe there’s plenty of precedent. Bodily harm was inflicted by this deranged individual, and the matter of consent has clearly been invalidated in abusive situations.

Warren said:

PvM said:

I wonder what the response would have been if instead the teacher were an atheist who had been telling his students that there is no God?

Actually there have been many test cases of this type floated already. Every time a teacher has sex with a student, the question of permission – consent – is always nullified, and the teacher is prosecuted as a sexual predator.

From a legal perspective I believe there’s plenty of precedent. Bodily harm was inflicted by this deranged individual, and the matter of consent has clearly been invalidated in abusive situations.

Then there’s the troublesome fact that Mr Freshwater made very little effort, if any effort at all, to teach his students science.

Nice “guilty by association” you have there, mr “Christian” PvM.

If the story is true (I have no reason to think otherwise) it’s sad that the teacher did what he. However, don’t bring the scaremongering type of rethoric “He descredited evolution AND burned children’s arms”.

I wonder what the response would have been if instead the teacher were an atheist who had been telling his students that there is no God?

That’s the sine qua non of atheistic public schools.

PvM -

I wonder what the response would have been if instead the teacher were an atheist who had been telling his students that there is no God? Would Freshwater supporters still support the “right” of the teacher to do so? Or is this limited to teachers who support indoctrination in the most popular faith?

To use public schools to forcefully indoctrinate other peoples’ children, over whom the teacher has a position of limited but very strong authority and strong responsibility, is an outrage against human rights in general and a violation of the US constitution in particular.

An atheist who taught lies instead of science, and who physically and psychologically abused children by scarring their bodies with indoctrinating material in this way, would be equally guilty.

The grossly inappropriate championing of any sectarian view by a teacher clearly denigrates all other views by implication.

Indeed, I would suggest that teachers should be careful about even discussing the irrelevant issue of their own religious beliefs, as a statement by a teacher, especially a popular, feared, or manipulative one, “I am Hindu” or the like, would in itself border on implying that the particular religion in question enjoys favor (and by extension, alternate views disfavor) from public school authorities.

There are, of course, situations in which a sensitive and professional teacher might disclose his or her own views in order to make a point AGAINST discrimination and to PROMOTE respect for the rights and beliefs of others, but such situations are tricky and challenging for the best.

I strongly support everyone’s right to express their full opinion, but some professional roles require restraint on the job, lest illegal and immoral favoritism/discrimination be practiced, deliberately or inadvertently.

This man’s only defense is his probable significant mental illness.

He certainly shouldn’t be teaching. Unfortunately, some private school will probably hire him.

This man needs to go to prison for the rest of his life.

Of course not. He does need to be permanently removed from his professional role; all licenses revoked and so on. He should and will face civil suits and criminal charges; mental illness may be a strong mitigating factor, though.

I realize that Warren was speaking from understandable outrage, but life in prison would be very excessive.

Warren said:

This simple fact of burning anything in students’ arms, whether an X or a cross, is child abuse.

This man needs to go to prison for the rest of his life.

PLEASE! We have people that MURDER and THEY aren’t sentenced to prison for the rest of their lives. Get a life Warren!

PvM continues to attempt to mock his Christian brothers in a den of vipers.

I am not mocking my Christian brothers, I am appalled at what some Christians are willing to do to further their faith, including violating the teacher student trust, violating school regulations and violating state and federal laws and the US constitution. What worries me even more is how when caught burning crosses in the arms of students, the incident is first played down by saying that these were not crosses but ‘X’s and then, when pictures show up contradicting these claims, the argument moves to “this was a valid science experiment performed for years”…

Worse, Freshwater’s defenders now claim that he was following state and federal law when teaching intelligent design creationism when in fact he failed to follow the educational guidelines which applied to the 10th grade not the 8th grade. This shows you once again that ‘teach the controversy’ is nothing more than a ruse to allow people like Freshwater to undermine science teachings and proselytize.

And what is wrong with mocking foolish behavior my dear confused Christian friend?

William Wallace said:

PvM continues to attempt to mock his Christian brothers in a den of vipers.

ndt said:

Warren said:

This simple fact of burning anything in students’ arms, whether an X or a cross, is child abuse.

This man needs to go to prison for the rest of his life.

This. Whether it’s a cross or an X is a minor issue. The major issue is that he burned the skin of children.

Right. He could have etched the Mona Lisa, or a gang symbol, or a pentagram – none of it would have mattered. That he was promoting as fact clear falsehoods is irrelevant.

He is accused (and apparently guilty) of assault on a child, and that deserves a lot more than simply losing his job. He should be arrested, prosecuted and treated as a criminal. Assuming a guilty finding, he should be jailed.

Warren said:

ndt said:

Warren said:

This simple fact of burning anything in students’ arms, whether an X or a cross, is child abuse.

This man needs to go to prison for the rest of his life.

This. Whether it’s a cross or an X is a minor issue. The major issue is that he burned the skin of children.

Right. He could have etched the Mona Lisa, or a gang symbol, or a pentagram – none of it would have mattered. That he was promoting as fact clear falsehoods is irrelevant.

He is accused (and apparently guilty) of assault on a child, and that deserves a lot more than simply losing his job. He should be arrested, prosecuted and treated as a criminal. Assuming a guilty finding, he should be jailed.

If you were the judge how much time would you sentence him to prison for?

Well I’m Anti-Theist and this story made made me physically ill. Science teachers are supposed to teach science in science and and not myths and legends from the leading death cult in the world.

Also if this prick branded my kid with a cross I’d brand his fucking knee caps with a shotgun gun. Let him pray his way out of that.

What an ignorant and bigoted savage this cocksucker is.

“With the exception of the cross-burning episode … I believe John Freshwater is teaching the values of the parents in the Mount Vernon school district,’’ he said.

“Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?”

There’s very good article (IMO) about the case over on this site:

http://cafephilos.wordpress.com/200[…]-freshwater/

and some interesting discussion.

It’s going to be very important to see how the courts handle the issue should Freshwater “appeal” his firing (i.e., sue the school board for … wrongful dismissal, would it be?)

Reason being, of course, that these so-called “Academic freedom” bills (such as the one just passed in LA) *may* make the future firing of teachers for doing same more difficult, perhaps impossible.

Florida dodged that bullett this spring, but I have no doubt that some damn fool state representative will bring it up again, pandering to their constituency (did I use the right word?) and cravenly passing the buck onto the individual local school boards, not to mention, if what I think I understand is correct, the massive wasteful cost in time and $ that lawsuits would bring.

It would therefore behoove us all, now, before the next election, to find out where our school board members stand on this issue, and to educate them best we can in what we know about what is good science and good science teaching, what is NOT good science and teaching, and why these bills, while appearing so innocuous on the surface, are really going to do more harm than good, and could be bad for them not only personally (as in not getting elected/reelected), but also bad for the school board and the school district they represent.

I have posted your blog in a comment made to a follow-up article on this most bizarre example of teaching I have seen in decades. Independent of the more human questions of cruelty to children, teaching ID/evolution, Who’s da betta Christian, etc. we have the fundamental issue of safety in the classroom. That one is at the basis of any set of state standards, national standards, or world standards for the teaching of any science anywhere. No matter which way the court comes down on this “teacher” no one can change the immutable laws of physics…thermal output burns skin. This isn’t rock, paper, scissors.

As an adult, would you allow your subteen or teen to deliberately put his or her hand in a fire? To stand outside in a lightning storm with a metal rod in their hand? To stick a piece of metal in an electrical socket? The physical number of examination questions I have written for states all over the USA and Puerto Rico concerning safety in the classroom numbers in the hundreds. There is no question in my mind that safety standards have been violated here.

Your post here is excellent, PvM, and your critics and detractors need their heads examined in more ways than just their religious positions.

The blog to which you are now crossposted is wave4.wordpress.com, The Fourth Estate.

make that the Fourth Wave. It’s Monday.

Perhaps as punishment he should have a Wiccan pentagram burned into his body with some sort of powerful electrostatic device. Tit for tat, zip for zap.

Why, pray tell, hasn’t this guy been launched into the sun yet? Because if that kid were MY son, I’d be advocating the stiffest jail term available.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by PvM published on June 19, 2008 11:51 PM.

Now I’m going to have nightmares was the previous entry in this blog.

Free this weekend? If in NM, Come Meet Charles Darwin… is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.381

Site Meter